More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

(Joshuashearn/Wikimedia Commons)

Canadians are showing concern over the spread of gun violence but are divided by gender, gun ownership and region on the seriousness of gun-related crimes.

The latest public opinion study performed by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds half of Canadians consider gun violence a serious problem for the country, while half say political and media coverage of the issue has been overblown.

Concern over gun violence is greatest in Ontario.

Six out of 10 Canadians say they would support an outright ban on civilian possession of handguns. The support increases to three-quarters of Canadian when it comes to considering a ban on assault weapons.

READ ALSO: Feds looking at ways to tackle wave of gun violence in Toronto: Minister

The study says there is support for proposals to strengthen elements of the licensing and purchase process, including expanded background checks and comprehensive tracking of gun sale records. This includes the majority of support from current and former gun owners.

The survey also shows that rural and urban respondents have different concerns about gun violence. Close to 50 per cent of those living in cities in Canada say their biggest worry relates to gang activity. However, rural Canadians show higher levels of concern about accidental shootings or guns used for suicide.

Those who say they have more knowledge about Canda’s gun laws are more comfortable with the current procedures, the study shows. This group is also more likely to say Canadian gun laws are too strict overall, with 37 per cent saying this.

READ ALSO: Doctors group plans national ‘day of action’ to combat gun violence

People with no knowledge of Canada’s gun laws are nearly three times as likely to say the laws are not strict enough.

Canadians are also divided about what a handgun ban would mean for the black market. Almost half say it would not make guns more difficult for criminals to obtain while the other half say it would.

Two-thirds of Canadians say they would support a taxpayer-funded buy-back program for gun owners if the government did ban handguns, assault weapons or both.

The institute also noted those who are opposed to a ban on firearms are mostly men, rural Canadians and gun owners.

A link to the poll can be found here.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Suspect arrested following gunpoint robbery in Qualicum Beach

Stop and Shop Grocery was robbed June 5; man now in custody

RDN board supports application for Coombs cannabis shop

Cannabis pharmaceutical facility in Nanoose also granted temporary-use licence

VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

Dozens of First Nations leaders gather on grassy plateau to call on action by provincial government

B.C. woman fighting to block coroner’s report detailing husband’s death

Fears revealing exactly how Ben Kilmer took his life will have traumatic effect on her two children

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

Three Albertans land ‘monster’ sturgeon in B.C.’s Fraser River

For angler who landed the exceptionally large sturgeon it was an ‘incredible dream come true’

VIDEO: Pickup truck smashes into Vancouver Island home

No injuries reported in Friday morning incident

Most Read